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Dhaka Tribune

Armed forces to be deployed from Dec 29

  • Will stay on the field till Jan 10
  • Ballot papers to reach centres on election day
Update : 19 Dec 2023, 12:05 AM

The Armed Forces will be deployed across the country from December 29 to January 10 in order to prevent any violence centring on the January 7 national parliament election.

Prior to the full deployment of the Armed Forces in all 300 constituencies, a small forward team will be deployed to collect basic data on the communication system, physical infrastructure, and electoral environment of the constituencies, according to a letter from Election Commission Deputy Secretary Md Atiar Rahman to the Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces.

The letter says: "The 12th national parliament elections will be held on January 7. The EC has taken all possible legal and administrative measures to conduct elections in a free, fair, impartial, and peaceful manner. All preparations have been made to maintain the law and order situation during the elections.”

The deployment of the Armed Forces will adhere to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the instructions outlined in Articles 7 and 10 of the Aid to Civil Power issued by the Ministry of Defence.

Under the guidance of executive magistrates, the armed forces will undertake various responsibilities to maintain law and order during the election period.

These responsibilities include deploying forces at strategic nodal points, coordinating with returning officers for deployment in upazilas or police stations, collaborating with executive magistrates to conduct proceedings in adherence to legal norms, finalizing area-wise development plans, and notifying detailed plans, including the duration of operations, before and after polling day.

The armed forces will also provide assistance in other legal activities as required by returning officers and assistant returning officers based on the evolving situation.

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal informed President Mohammed Shahabuddin about the EC's interest in army deployment in a meeting at Bangabhaban on December 17. The president agreed with the CEC.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has decided to send ballot papers to most areas on the morning of January 7, the election day.

The commission informed returning officers about the decision on Monday. For remote or inaccessible areas, returning officers, in consultation with law enforcement, taking into consideration the communication system, security, and distance, will decide on a suitable time for sending ballot papers, Election Commission Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath said.

Returning officers have been directed to seek clearance from the commission on this matter by December 31.

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